Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association was established in 1961. The local minor hockey group recently celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. On January 7th, it was declared Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Day as a number of events celebrated this milestone. Highlighting the day was a return of all former Provincial Championship teams.
Back in 1961, Bob Nelson was the first president of minor hockey and since then many outstanding volunteers have hammered the gavel to keep law and order. They included the likes Ken Berger, Dr. O'Brien, Bob Megale, Clare Indseth, Bernie Hucul, Monty Jones, Bob Jagt, Bill Phillips, George Rithaler, Darrell Doussept and for the last two seasons Tim Giandomenico has lead this outstanding organization.
Association colors back in the early 1960's were maroon and white. Later, the orange, black and white colors were adopted and thousands of youngsters from 5 to 18 years old have proudly worn the Salmon Arm colors. When junior A hockey arrived in the 1980's , the first team known as the Shuswap Totems, began their inaugural season wearing the same colors.
The old Salmon Arm Memorial arena was built in 1955 and still remains in its present location. Today, the building serves as in indoor soccer facility. Enrollment was once at a high of 700 youngsters.
The old barn was the home to many of the great teams of Salmon Arm. The most famous was the 1970 provincial Juvenile champions, the Salmon Arm Lignums. The later years would see the sponsor names such Hunterline, Neptune Pool, Jock Shop, Westline Trucking and Lakeside Printing cover the front of many Salmon Arm Minor Hockey jerseys. The last team to capture a provincial title in the old bar was the Bantam AA Jock Shop Flyers. They defeated the Westside team in triple overtime in the final game before a jam packed crowd. Dave Scatchard of Salmon Arm and Steve Kelly of Westside went on to play in the National Hockey League.
In 2001, Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association moved to the new Sunwave Centre. A state of the art building complete with two NHL ice sheets, restaurant and sport shop is now the home of hockey in the Shuswap area. Now called Shaw Centre, it has been the site of five provincial minor hockey tournaments with the last one being hosted by the Pee Wee Tier II team in the 2012-13 year. Close to 350 minor hockey youngsters were registered this past year.
Salmon Arm can be proud of the achievements of Salmon Arm Minor Hockey. It has been a tremendous opportunity for the youth of Salmon Arm to enjoy the great game of hockey. Many thanks to the thousands of volunteers over the years and to all sponsors of minor hockey. SAMHA looks forward to another 50 years of serving the youth in Salmon Arm and area.
As former mayor of Salmon Arm (1981) Margaret Lund said, (This volunteer group is a fine example of the way people working together can create and maintain such a worthwhile organization. Salmon Arm is indebted to volunteers with your enthusiasm and staying power.
added 2017-09-10 by DRT